The webcomics are leaking

Even sub-genres of the internet are now leaking, as Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics was spotted on the side of an abandoned building on the corner of Mass Ave and Trowbridge St in Cambridge, MA (map). As the resolution far exceeded 1440 x 900, I had a hard time distinguishing it at first.

Read more Dinosaur Comics here.

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Theragbox.com, version 2.0 and the hard lessons learned

Ragbox. 2.0 Redesign

Sometimes the best plan is a very simple one.

If you haven’t visited the site in a while, you may have noticed some redesign going on. Like redesign on any scale, it’s been a slow and stupid process, but thoroughly educational. The most important lessons were definitely not about coding. Let me walk you through the changes, and explain why I made certain choices. In doing so, I hope other artists and writers might avoid the same mistakes I made.

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Line O illustrating chapter 5 of The Ragbox

A character sketch of Angel

A character sketch of Angel from Ragbox, chapter 5

The amazing talented Line O will be illustrating chapter 5 of The Ragbox, I’m pleased to announce. I met Line O about a year ago when she joined the Boston Comics Roundtable, and from the moment I saw her portfolio samples, I knew I had to ask her to do a Ragbox chapter. Thankfully, she was willing.

The Ragbox project is an experiment in which a different illustrator works on each chapter. In part, this is to create a panoply of styles that reflected the harmonies and dissonances of the neighborhood. It’s also fun, of course, to work with so many different people. But most importantly, I wanted to find specific illustrators for specific chapters, stories in which I thought only this particular artist could could draw out the emotional honesty of that particular chapter.  Chapter 5 takes place entirely within a hair salon in the Ragbox district. It focuses on two female characters, the younger Angel and the older Desiree. It seemed important to try and find a female illustrator, and one that could make a visually compelling page in a relatively static environment. The way Line O renders the female form, dramatically posed with a loose, curvy limbs, along with the intricate cross-hatching, work perfectly to this end. It helps that she really seemed to like the story, too.

Check out Line O’s website at http://outoflinecomics.blogspot.com.

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New BCR Anthology: Inbound #5

Inbound5_cover_200The Boston Comics Roundtable published its latest anthology, Inbound #5: The Food Issue. I don’t have a story in here, but I am an editor of the series and handle all the marketing and distribution. We worked long and hard on this one. Like Inbound #4, it’s a perfect bound book with this amazing cover by Ellen Crenshaw and design by Shelli Paroline. We chose to keep the retail price down at $12, even though it’s 176 pages (32 pages longer than Inbound #4, also $12). That was a tough choice, but we’re in it to disseminate the books to the public and not to make a profit. As long as we can keep our heads above water and pull in enough revenue to continue publishing, we’re doing our job right.

Creating a sales and distribution network for Inbound has been one of the most education experiences of my adult life. The Boston Comics Roundtable is fortunate enough to have a small army of volunteers only too happy to do their part. We’re never short of a willing pair of arms to deliver books to far flung comic shops and book stores across the New England area and well beyond. Maybe someday I’ll write a long, boring book about it.

You can buy the book directly from the BCR website or at almost any Boston area comic shop or independently owned bookstore, including favorites like Million Year Picnic, Hub Comics, Comicopia, and Harvard Book Store.


And the next artist is… Joel Christian Gill

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Sample from Joel Christian Gill's Strange Fruit

I’m happy to confirm that Joel Christian Gill will be illustrating Chapter 4 of The Ragbox. Joel is not only an excellent comics artist, but also the Foundations Chairperson at the New Hampshire College of Art.

The chapter introduces the character of Mr. Davis, an old man from the “older, darker” part of The Ragbox district. The 12-page chapter works as a standalone story, so you won’t need to have read Volume 1.

I’m very excited to be working with Joel on this project, having already seen his great work on his own comics, as well as the amazing craftsmanship on the Hellbound: A Boston Comics Horror Anthology (click over there to see the making of this giant-sized, screenprinted book).